Yangon residents protest against government’s commercialization of public playgrounds

Yangon residents on November 16 staged a protest against government’s commercialization of public parks and playgrounds in the city downtown.

The temporary committee for protection against commercialization of public parks and playgrounds in Yangon Region organized the protest which started at 10am on that day in front of Yangon City Hall.

The protest was joined by Myanmar Lawyers Network (MLN) and residents from Yangon’s townships where their public parks and playgrounds have been handed over to private companies to commercial development.

“There are now many of historical places like them handed over to private companies. Chief minister for Yangon Region teamed up with local authorities in the handovers. Last month another protest was held at Thane Phyu Playing Field. But the companies are still on their way to continue their projects. That’s why we stage this protest here,” said Aye Min, a member of MLN and also the secretary of the temporary committee.

Currently public playing fields and parks such as Thane Phyu in Mingala Taung Nyunt Township, Yar Pyae in Tarmwe Township, another in Kawmu Township in Yangon and others in Bagon Region, Kayin and Shan states are seized for the commercialization, according to MLN.

“Yar Pyae in Tarmwe Township was seized in 1989. When Yangon City Development Committee reported to superior officers about the seizure, they said it will be built as a market. It’s a reason behind the lower quality of Myanmar’s sports as the authorities tried to wipe out them. The public playing fields are needed to prevent the quality of Myanmar’s sports from going down,” said protester Maung Maung.

Aye Min continued that legal actions will be taken if the protests do not produced the desired outcome.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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